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BRIDGE



Published: Thu, January 27, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Both vulnerable. South deals.

NORTH

x K J 9 6 2

u 4

v 9 8 5

w K J 7 3

WEST EAST

x Void x A Q 10

u K 10 7 5 3 u J 8

v K Q 7 4 2 v J 10 6 3

w 10 8 6 w Q 9 4 2

SOUTH

x 8 7 5 4 3

u A Q 9 6 2

v A

w A 5

The bidding:

SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST

1x Pass 4x Pass

Pass Pass

Opening lead: King of v

Follow the bidding and play of this deal, then decide: Was it played at rubber bridge or duplicate? What brings you to that conclusion?

The auction is textbook. With good five-card support for partner's major suit, a singleton and little in the way of defense, pre-emptive action is called for. The jump to four spades is the recommended action.

West led the king of diamonds, won in the closed hand. With a chance for 12 tricks, declarer led a trump to the knave. Unfortunately, West showed out. East won the trick as cheaply as allowed, cashed the ace of spades and continued with the 10. Declarer won on the table and tried the heart finesse, losing to the king. Declarer ruffed the diamond return, cashed the ace of hearts and trumped a heart. When East discarded a diamond, desperate measures were called for, since South still had two heart losers and only one trump with which to ruff. Declarer came to hand with the ace of clubs and tried the club finesse. When that lost to the queen South, a victim of good defense and foul breaks, conceded down one.

Obviously, the hand was played at duplicate -- there is a sure-trick line for 10 tricks at rubber bridge After winning the first trick with the ace of diamonds, declarer simply starts crossruffing hearts in dummy and minor suits in hand. The defenders can choose whether to score three trump tricks or two trumps and one other trick. But declarer cannot afford to adopt that line at duplicate, where coin of the realm is overtricks. There is too great a chance for one or two overtricks to protect against a 3-0 trump break and a 5-2 heart break with both the heart and club finesses losing!

& copy; 2005 Tribune Media Services




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